The U.S. Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into whether General Motors Co. waited too long to recall 1.6 million vehicles over an ignition switch problem linked to more than a dozen deaths, according to Tuesday reports.
Much of last week’s argument in Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund focused on the procedures available to defendants to rebut Basic v. Levinson's presumption of classwide reliance — which strongly suggests that if Basic survives, something needs to be done to ensure that its equally strong mandate regarding the presumption’s rebuttability is given effect, say Jen Spaziano and Allon Kedem of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
Bribery, coercion of judges, judicial corruption, fraudulent evidence and strategic incitement of criminal proceedings may all be, regrettably, de rigueur in some countries, but Chevron v. Donziger demonstrates that judgments resulting from such conduct will not receive comity treatment in the U.S. — and may also get the lawyers into a heap of trouble, says Oleg Rivkin of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt.
A recent federal district court decision in a case involving the Gulf Coast Pipeline gives the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers another notch in its belt on how it implements its nationwide permitting program for utility line construction. But it also gives the corps fair warning that it must more clearly manage interdistrict coordination regarding cumulative effects analysis of a project, say attorneys with Vinson & Elkins LLP.
The recent dismissal of the Federal Aviation Administration’s enforcement case against a commercial unmanned aircraft system operator provides a potential opening for using small UAS for commercial purposes, but it leaves key questions unresolved and has been appealed. The FAA’s long-term plans to regulate UAS are unaffected, say Joshua Turner and Katy Ross of Wiley Rein LLP.
Casino and hotel developers and operators will need more than a good poker face and a lucky roll of the dice to win one of the four new gaming licenses that are on the table in New York state. The very recent victories and setbacks of applicants in Massachusetts — which has been implementing casino legislation very similar to New York’s over the past two years — can serve as a roadmap for New York applicants, say attorneys with Goodwin Procter LLP.
While some recent U.S. initiatives are laudable ideas that may foster better commercial relationships with African countries, policymakers should focus on the key vehicle for enhancing trade and investment with the continent — the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Simple enhancements to the program would foster greater trade and investment between the U.S. and the fast-growing economies of Africa, says Beau Jackson of Adduci Mastriani & Schaumberg LLP.
While it appears likely that manufacturers will follow GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s lead in ending physician promotional activity, it remains much less clear whether the elimination of these arrangements will reduce or eliminate bias, or reduce health care costs. And the elimination of a relatively low-cost but effective means of promotion and education via experienced clinician speakers may do more harm than good, says Christine Savage of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP.
Recent decisions by the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board offer further incentive for generic litigants to seek an inter partes review as a complement — or even alternative — to district courts for challenging Orange Book patents, say attorneys with Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox PLLC.
Scenarios that could trigger an internal investigation include a subpoena from a government agency seeking records and indicating a criminal investigation is underway for violations of insider trading, tax laws or fraud. In such cases, it is important for the company’s investigation to stay a step or two ahead. Consider the need for retaining separate counsel for certain employees and determine how to deal with third parties and former employees, say attorneys with Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.
A properly drafted intercreditor agreement among parties to a complex debt financing transaction, including “mezzanine” debt financiers, is necessary to ensure that their relative rights and obligations are enforced in a distress or bankruptcy situation. Setting forth lien priority in intercreditor agreements, for example, serves to mitigate against the risk of the senior creditor not being “first in time” in filing a lien, says Ata Dinlenc of Dentons.